Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dirty Girls cleaning your bike

For a long, long time I was the cyclist who would trade free babysitting for someone to clean my bike.  Seriously.   One time my coach said "Chloe, that is the dirtiest bike I've ever seen" or my bike mechanic stated (more then once) "My, the princess has been rode hard and put up wet".  Yes.  I do love my bike - but I did not know how to keep her clean.  Or, just didn't want to spend the time.   Until I realized how SIMPLE and QUICK it is to do yourself.  All you need is the proper tools.

*remember, I am NOT a bike mechanic.  If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment*

These are my tools.  

And this is my cleaning bucket.  It's simple for me to keep everything together - I mean, where else am I going to use epic ride or grease lightening?  

First thing I do is hose down my bike.

Then I spray some grease lightening onto my cassette and crank set.  Then I use a brush purchased  from my local bike store to clean all of the hard to reach dirty parts:

Once I feel most of the sand and muck have been cleaned out - I hose her down again.

Next I grab the best bike chain cleaning tool ever and my CB-2 Citrus Chain Brite:

You don't realize how dirty your chain is until you use this bad boy. All you do is fill up the chain cleaning machine (well, that is what I call it) to the fill line and attached to the bottom part of your chain.  This contraption is full of brushes that spin and clean out all of the crap caught in your chain:

I know, not the best photo.  But you get the drift.  But I back peddle my bike until I feel the chain is clean. Usually about 2-3 minutes (I'm just a bit OCD).  Depending on how full of grime my chain is, I might dump out the liquid and re-fill.  Because it can get pretty gross:

Sick.  Now you see how important this tool is.  
You can purchase this entire contraption here - or you can also purchase this at your local bike store.
Just to let you know - my bike chain is gold.  I totally forget this until after I clean it.  Then I remember the princess has some pretty awesome bling.

I hose the bike down again and fill up a small bucket with car wash solution and water.  Grab some type of soft cloth and throughly wipe down the frame and wheels.  I typically do this a few times since I seem to miss places.  

Finally I end the bike spa with this:

to lube up my chain.  

I look for the quick release on my chain - and just drip a small amount of Epic Ride on each link.  Once I see the quick release again, I know I've done one round (sometimes I do this twice...damn OCD)

And there you go!  Quick and simple.  This usually takes me about 10 minutes or so.  I don't have fancy bike holder - but the boat trailer works just fine to hold her up.

Now - how pretty does the princess look?  

If I can do it - you can totally do it.  A clean bike is a happy bike....and a fast bike!  I try to do this at least once every two weeks.  We have a TON of sand and crap on our roads - so the gunk can really build up.  

In other news - here is an awesome photos of Stella.  The wonder dog:

Guarding her ball. 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fast food hurts

So remember a few years ago when I threw out my back and blamed it on fast food?  If not, check out the post here

Well, sometimes Big J and I do not have time to make a quality dinner.  And sometimes (as in once in a blue moon) he'll come home with one of these:
A $5 pizza.  

Well, I've come to learn the my body does not like $5 pizzas.  Which is a good thing!  But needless to say, I'm probably at race weight right now thanks to a day and a half of my body reminding me not to eat that shit.  

Clean eating is the way to go!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stairs and Yoga anyone?

The past few Mondays me and a few of my training partners have been doing stairs.  Not your 'we'll go up and down the bleachers' stairs.  But STAIRS.  I use all capitol letters because he lives here:

23 stories of goodness.  We use one of the side stairwells where teenagers probably make out when they are here on vacation and people smoke when they can't in their condo.  It's smelly, hot, and very challenging.  It typically takes us under 3 minutes going every other stair to get to the top. But the view is totally worth it:

And then after going in circles three or four times - we are lucky enough to have one of our Hammerdown team members, Ashley, teach a yoga class.  Ashley is a fantastic yoga instructor (and the one who got me into crossfit).  On the off season we are on the beach - but due to the amount of people on the beach right now, we are stuck inside with this view:

Not too bad - right?  
But I would like to thank Ashley for reminding me how inflexible I am.  This girl - cannot even touch her toes.  

In wedding news (I know it's been awhile) but our save the dates are finally out.  I told Big J that there is no way he can back out now!
As stated on our save the days -
We are finally taking the plunge!!  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's that time of year again

It seems like all over the country it's been well over the normal highs, but here in North Florida, it's normal.  Hot ass piss.  But the one good thing about these hot as temps, is spring rides!'s been awhile, but spring rides are no doubt the highlight of the summer training season. 

Yesterday we had a fantastic group meet up for a 60ish hilly ride through the northern part of the state.  People say that there are no hills in Florida (besides bridges) but I beg to differ.  We had some brutal, long climbs and some very high temps.  It was so hot that when I put my head down, sweat just poured down onto my bike and bento box.  I know that is kind of gross, but it makes me feel pretty bad ass.  

And you know you are in the sticks when you come across a gas station like this:
16oz Natural Light for .99?  Awesome!  

Trick to beat the heat - when you stop, throw your helmets into the ice freezer!  

But after 50 miles my legs where trashed.  Thankfully, the oasis (otherwise known a Ponce De Leon Springs) was right around the corner.
As soon as the dumb 10 min train passed:
Yep, we took up a large section of the road.  

We rode up to this:

Ahhh....a big, fresh, natural ice bath!

I love it because the locals look at us like we are crazy:
"Where did you ride from?"
"How far have you ridden?"
"My, those are fancy bikes!"

But it's so refreshing.  And it's an awesome recovery.  We strategically plan where we start from in relation to the springs.  So a quick 10 mile spin on the bikes after the spring, and we are done!  

So, it's tough riding.  But the benefit is so worth it.

Now that I'm back full time into swimbikerun training, I'm sure we will have many more rides this summer!

GOOD LUCK to all of my REV3 family racing in REV3 Portland today!  Ahhh..after all of this wedding business is over, I'll be looking forward to racing this amazing race next year!